Friends say Caitlin Talley “always had a smile on her face.” She was a beautiful 17-year-old girl who had her whole life ahead of her. Unfortunately, her life ended Thursday night as she was killed in a car accident.
Friends honored Caitlin’s memory during and after WCHS’s football game on Friday night. Friends were selling pink bows, any shade of pink being Caitlin’s favorite color, for people to wear in her honor. Catilin loved wearing big hairbows and headbands with bows.
Children could also get their faces painted with pink flowers or crowns because Caitlin loved anything “princess”. “She was a princess, for sure,” said one of her best friends, Shayla Tidenburg.
Sparkles could be added to the faicepaintings for added glitz. Proceeds from the bow sale and facepainting will go to Caitlin’s family.
Several people wore black and hot pink T-shirts in memory of Caitlin. Some of the shirts said “In Memory of Princess Cait and R.I.P Caitlin, Forever a Princess.”
Tidenburg, said, “I know Cailtlin is looking down on us and is smiling down. She must be so proud of us for coming together. I wish she was still here. All we can do now is pray for each other.”
Hundreds of students, teachers and friends gathered downtown at the fountain after the game and took part in a candlelighting ceremony. Friends cried, hugged each other and told memories of their friend.
Ciara Walker said, “Caitlin was a beautiful, smart, kind and outgoing girl. This has been an eye-opening experience. We are so young and we didn’t realize life could be taken like this. She was a great girl. She will be missed. She is smiling down on us.”
Fran Duvall and WCHS teacher Jimmy Haley reminded everyone to think about what they say to others because it may be the last thing they ever hear.
Tidenburg was unable to attend the ceremony, but said, “Caitlin hated when people were upset with her. She wanted people to always be happy with her.”
Haley encouraged the students standing in a circle around the fountain to say one word about Caitlin. Caitlin was described as happy, funny, smiling, vivacious, beautiful and one person said, “She was fun to be around.”
Caitlin was a senior at WCHS where she was in the choir and was a member of this year’s Homecoming Court. Fellow classmates voted her as a candidate for Homecoming Queen. She worked at McDonald’s after school.
Tidenburg said Caitlin adored her baby brother, Caden.
Another best friend, Tiember Craven, said Caitlin loved all kinds of music and Easton Corbin was a favorite of hers.
“I miss her so much but she is in a better place, I guess,” said Craven.
Paula Barnes, owner of Paula’s Dance Academy said, “Caitlin took dance for several years. She enjoyed it so much. She was a sweet girl and a happy girl.”
“Hearing of her death was a real shock. She didn’t take dance last year. I suppose she got involved in other things and high school was a busy time. I missed her. She was a pleasure to have in dance class,” said Barnes.
Lisa Higgins admired Caitlin. “I didn’t know her long but she made an impact on me. She would leave school and work at McDonald’s. She was a strong young lady. She was precious,” said Higgins.
McDonald’s co-workers said Caitlin had worked there about six months. “She was good worker and an upbeat person. She was very happy and smiley, your typical teenager. She leaves behind a lot of friends who feel like family. She will be missed,” said a member of the McDonald’s management team.
Director of Schools Bobby Cox called Caitlin’s death a tragedy. “Any time you lose a student it is tragic. We, of course, want to extend sympathy to her family,” Cox said.
“I have worked today to make sure that when we get back to school on Monday we have counselors to kind of ease the pain for Caitlin’s friends and teachers. We certainly want to remember her and thoughts are with her family at this time. It is beyond my comprehension what they must be going through,” said Cox.